To start the year, John Gibson was stuck in the AHL because the Ducks wanted to get him playing time.  It took an injury to Fredrik Anderson for Gibson to start getting playing time and now Bruce Boudreau has realized that Gibson, their goalie of the future, is their present as well.  On Thursday, Gibson had his second consecutive 1-0 win stopping all 21 shots against the Oilers.  On Sunday, Gibson stopped 19 of 20 shots in the 4-1 win over the Jets.  In 15 starts, Gibson has an absurd 1.63 GAA and a .932 save percentage.  After an absolutely dreadful start, the Ducks are in a playoff spot thanks mostly to Gibson.  Here’s what else has happened around the league going back to the 31st of last year:

Thursday’s Games:

Islanders 2, Sabres 1 – The Sabres played an excellent game dominating possession only for Thomas Greiss to steal the game, stopping 42 of 43 Sabres shots.  I was at this game and man, that horseshoe in Greiss was wedged in pretty deep.  Greiss is the main guy for the Islanders right now and should be owned everywhere.  Johnny Boychuk left the game injured and will be out indefinitely. Frans Nielsen looked great scoring a goal on five shots with two PIM.  For the Sabres, Linus Ullmark also played well stopping 31 of 33 shots.  Jack Eichel‘s hot streak continued with an assist and six shots.  Rasmus Ristolainen got back on track with an assist and five shots.

Penguins 5, Red Wings 2 – The big guns for the Penguins all had good games.  Finally.  Sidney Crosby had a goal on four shots, Patric Hornqvist had a goal and two assists with six shots, Phil Kessel had an assist with two shots and two PIM, Kris Letang had two goals and an assist with five shots and Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists with three shots.  Of all of the players above, I’d want to acquire Letang the most considering the cost. The price should be low and I like his chances to turn it around with an improved power play and big minutes.  For Detroit, not much happened with fantasy relevance.  Dylan Larkin had an assist with three shots keeping his great rookie season rolling.

Hurricanes 4, Capitals 2 – Alex Ovechkin kept his goal streak going with a goal on six shots.  The Hurricanes had a balanced attack with Eric Staal leading the way with a goal and assist with two shots.  He was the only Canes player to have multiple points.  Eddie Lack had another solid game stopping 30 of 32 shots in the win.

Wild 3, Blues 1 – Devan Dubnyk had another great start stopping 33 of 34 Blues shots.  Eric Haula had a goal and assist with two shots on the fourth line for the Wild.  Nino Niederreiter also had a goal and an assist solidifying himself as a solid streamer.  Thomas Vanek had a goal on two shots on his new line. Kevin Shattenkirk had the lone Blues goal on six shots.  The power play points have been amazing so hopefully he starts to produce at even strength.

Blackhawks 4, Avs 3 (OT) – Jonathan Toews scored the overtime winner on his fourth shot.  He’s having a very disappointing year considering where he was drafted.  Patrick Kane‘s amazing season continued with a goal and two assists with seven shots.  Semyon Varlamov stole a point for the Avs stopped 39 of 43 shots.  Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist with a shot.  He’s a good source of shots and PIM for your last defenseman spot in 12’ers.

Stars 5, Predators 1 – Pekka Rinne had another disastrous road start allowing 5 goals on 32 shots.  The big guns for the Stars carried the team per usual.  Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist with five shots, John Klingberg had two assists with a shot, Tyler Seguin had two goals and five shots, Patrick Sharp had an assist with six shots and Jason Spezza had two assists with two shots.  You know what to do with all of those guys.  Antti Niemi had a very good start stopping 33 of 34 shots.

Kings 4, Flames 1 – Jonathan Quick‘s best regular season continued stopping 23 of 24 shots.  Marian Gaborik‘s turnaround kept rolling with a goal and an assist with two shots.  Milan Lucic had a game his owners look for with a goal and seven PIM.  Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist with two shots on the Kings’ makeshift second line.  Mark Giordano‘s resurgence continued with a goal on two shots.

Ducks 1, Oilers 0 – John Gibson had his aforementioned shutout.  Ryan Getzlaf scored the only goal on three shots while Corey Perry had an assist with four shots.  I’ve said for weeks that I’d look to acquire both in trades; it might be too late now if you haven’t already.  Cam Talbot played outstanding in the loss stopping 34 of 35 shots.

Coyotes 4, Jets 2 – Adam Lowry scored both Jets goals scoring more goals in this game than the previous 34.  Shane Doan scored another two goals on four shots giving him five in two games.  Oliver Ekman-Larsson also kept his streak going with a goal.  Louis Domingue played very well stopping 35 of 37 Jets shots.  I still don’t want anything to do with the Coyotes goalies.

Friday’s Games:

Canadiens 5, Bruins 1: Complete dominance for the Habs in this one.  Paul Byron scored two goals on his two shots making him the most unlikely player to score two goals in a Winter Classic.  Brendan Gallagher returned in this game from injury and was a great boost for him and his linemates.  Gallagher had a goal and an assist with three shots, Tomas Plekanec had two assists with a shot and two PIM while Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist with three shots.  Mike Condon had his first good start in weeks stopping 27 of 28 shots.  Tuukka Rask‘s hot streak went down quickly giving up 5 goals on 30 shots.  Matt Beleskey maintained his quality play with the lone Bruins goal on four shots.

Canucks 2, Ducks 1 (SO) – Fredrik Anderson got a spot start in the back to back and stopped 24 of 25 shots.  He was a hard luck loser once again.  Ryan Kesler‘s miserable year had a brief respite scoring a goal on his only shot with two PIM.  Jacob Markstrom played well again stopping 27 of 28 shots in the win.

Saturday’s Games:

Red Wings 4, Sabres 3 – Another game that the Sabres dominate only to lose.  Damn it, Sabres, you’re going to make me root for you to tank soon.  Sigh.  Anyways, the Red Wings had a balanced attack in this game.  Mike Green did some good things and horrible things in the game but all benefited for fantasy purposes.  Green had two assists with two shots and four PIM, taking a horrible penalty right after he got out of the box for another penalty.  Dylan Larkin had another assist while Tomas Tatar scored the game winner with 3 minutes left.  He also had an assist.  Jack Eichel had two goals on two shots and now has 11 points in his last 7 games.  He’s starting to make my preseason ranking look attainable.  Sam Reinhart snapped his goalless drought with a goal on three shots while Rasmus Ristolainen had another assist with three shots.

Oilers 4, Coyotes 3 (SO) – Louis Domingue played well again in the loss stopping 38 of 41 shots.  Max Domi ended his cold streak with an assist while Anthony Duclair ended his with a goal.  Jordan Eberle had two goals on four shots while Taylor Hall scored a goal on seven shots.  Benoit Pouliot had two assists, five shots and six PIM and has played his way into must-own status in 12’ers.

Kings 2, Flyers 1 – Another great game from Jonathan Quick stopping 29 of 30 shots.  Jakub Voracek kept his improved play going with an assist with five shots.  Drew Doughty‘s solid season kept going with a goal on three shots.

Leafs 4, Blues 1 – Vladimir Tarasenko scored a goal on four shots with two PIM, giving the Blues the lead only to give up four unanswered.  Jonathan Bernier stopped 39 of 40 Blues shots and if you can guess how he’s going to do in any given start, go play the lottery.  Nazem Kadri scored a goal on four shots giving him ten points in the last ten games.  Leo Komarov had two assists with three shots matching his point total from last season in 37 games.  What a year by Uncle Leo.  He’s right there with Kyle Palmieri for the “Where the hell did this year come from?” award.

Lightning 3, Wild 2 (SO) – Devan Dubnyk stopped 28 of 30 shots in the loss.  Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist with three shots and should be used as a streamer going forward barring an injury to a different Wild center.  Andrei Vasilevskiy played well in a spot start stopping 30 of 32 shots.  Nikita Kucherov maintained his fire with a goal on his only shot while Steven Stamkos had an assist with six shots.

Panthers 3, Rangers 0 – The Rangers dominated play outshooting the Panthers 40-20 but were shutdown by Roberto Luongo.  Luongo has carried the Panthers to first place in the Atlantic having won nine straight games.  The Panthers had balance offensively with nobody scoring more than one point.

Devils 3, Stars 2 (OT) – The Stars were down 2-0 into the middle of the third until Patrick Sharp and Colton Sceviour scored to get a point.  More on Sceviour in the Stars’ Sunday recap.  Cory Schneider was the man again stopping 29 of 31 shots against the high powered Stars.  Adam Henrique ended his cold streak with two assists and two shots.  Kyle Palmieri scored again and John Moore scored the game winning goal on his third shot of the game.

Pens 5, Islanders 2 – Thomas Greiss got lit up giving up 4 goals on 22 shots before getting pulled halfway through the game.  Kyle Okposo had an assist with ten shots while John Tavares had a goal on six shots.  The big guns tried their best but were mostly contained by Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 38 of 40 Islander shots.  The big guns had another huge game for the Pens with Sidney Crosby scoring two goals on seven shots, Patric Hornqvist scoring once on seven shots, Phil Kessel adding a goal on two shots, Kris Letang posting three assists and three shots while Evgeni Malkin also had three assists with two shots.  It looks like the Pens could have the second half we expected them to have all season.

Predators 2, Hurricanes 1 (OT) – Pekka Rinne finally won a road game, his first in almost two months, stopping 27 of 28 shots.  Mattias Ekholm scored the goal winner on his only shot while also having an assist on the first Predators goal.  If only he had the opportunity to regularly show his offensive abilities.  Victor Rask scored the only Hurricanes goal to add to his breakout season.

Blue Jackets 5, Capitals 4 (SO) – Braden Holtby had his first bad start in months giving up 4 goals on 29 shots.  The second line led the way for the Capitals with Marcus Johansson scoring a goal and an assist with four shots while Evgeni Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  T.J. Oshie had a goal on four shots with two PIM and he’s someone I’m looking to target in a trade after a recent slow stretch.  For the Blue Jackets, Jack Johnson had a monster game scoring two goals on five shots and adding an assist.  He’s still somebody I’m not owning in 12’ers; he’s simply not as good as most people think he is based on name recognition.  Brandon Saad scored twice on four shots putting him on pace for over 30 goals.

Flames 4, Avalanche 0 – Karri Ramo locked the game down stopping all 26 Avalanche shots.  His numbers are still mediocre on the season; he has more value in head to head leagues because of the volume of starts he receives.  The depth guys did most of the work for the Flames.  As far as fantasy relevant players go, Mark Giordano had an assist with three shots while Dougie Hamilton scored once on three shots.  If he’s available, I’m taking the gamble on Hamilton as my last defenseman.  He’s showing signs of turning it around and he’s erased his horrible plus-minus.

Jets 4, Sharks 1 – Connor Hellebuyck bounced back after a poor start against the Coyotes stopping 27 of 28 Sharks shots.  Joel Armia scored his first career goal on two shots.  There’s a ton of upside here (I followed him closely as a former Sabres prospect) and is someone worth monitoring in super deep leagues, especially dynasties.  Nikolaj Ehlers ended his massive drought scoring a goal on four shots.  Drew Stafford scored a goal on his only shot and should be owned everywhere as he’s currently on the first line.  Blake Wheeler had two assists with a shot and two PIM pushing him back over a point per game.  Brent Burns kept up his great season scoring the Sharks goal with four shots.

Sunday’s Games:

Islanders 6, Stars 5 – Amazing that Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin would go pointless with the Stars scoring 5 goals.  The new second line played outstanding for the Stars.  Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals on three shots and I’m picking him up in 12’ers now.  Colton Sceviour had two assists and two shots and is someone I’ll be looking to stream for the Stars next game to see if he sticks in this role.  Jason Spezza scored on his only shot and added an assist.  For the Islanders, the hit king Cal Clutterbuck scored two goals on three shots.  Nick Leddy had two assists with a shot and two PIM; he finally had a bright spot in a disappointing season after last year’s breakout.  Anders Lee had a goal and an assist with nine shots and is must own right now.  Kyle Okposo had two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM and he’s truly on fire NBA Jam style.

Panthers 2, Wild 1 – Al Montoya got the spot start and stopped 39 of 40 Wild shots to steal the game for the Panthers, extending their winning streak to 9 games.  Both Panthers goals were scored by the man, the myth, the legend Jaromir Jagr.  We salute you, Mr. Jagr.

Blackhawks 3, Senators 0 – Corey Crawford recorded another shutout stopping all 26 shots he faced.  Patrick Kane tallied an assist with four shots while Duncan Keith scored a goal on three shots.

Ducks 4, Jets 1 – Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little each had an assist on Tyler Myers‘ goal to continue their great seasons.  Ryan Kesler scored again on three shots with two PIM while Corey Perry scored on four shots with two PIM.

Monday Streamers:  There are five games on the docket for Monday night making it a big streaming night to start the week.  Here are my top three options:

Robby Fabbri – He gets a great matchup against the Senators who will be on the second of a back to back.  Fabbri has four goals in his last seven games and is now on the second power play unit.  He’s really close to being a hold so he’s my top streaming option of the night.

Elias Lindholm – He’s back on the first line and first power play unit for Carolina and gets a great matchup against the Oilers.

Bo Horvat – The former top ten pick is getting a chance on the second line for the Canucks and goes against a Coyotes team who is due for a regression in their recent goaltending.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Tuesday to recap the action from Monday night.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or post any comments below.  Take care everyone!

  1. Mobin Can't Hack It says:
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    after keeping dubnyk as a keeper, drafting then allen (good on that one), and also ramo later, dropping ramo after he was sent down after being damn awful, i’ve been jumping goalie to goalie. now murray is back in AHL (was nice while he was up), who’s best add (71 moves left on year, so in theory, could stream this, about 4 moves per matchup) in H2H: c.johnson/scrivens (still a possibility he gets this job, and there’s a back to back up soon for MTL anyway)/ bernier. Johnson gets first game in time order, so if it’s a stream attempting deal he’d be first.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mobin Can’t Hack It: At this point, I don’t think any of these guys are holds. Johnson strugged mightily on Saturday so I expect Ullmark to start tomorrow plus Lehner will be back in 1-2 weeks. Scrivens looks to be splitting in the short term but Condon played great in the Winter Classic so I expect him to get the next game while Bernier has been so inconsistent nobody can predict what will happen with him. I’d look to stream that spot in the short term until somebody else steps up as a hold.

  2. Biggie Smalls says:
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    Pick one: g a +- pp pims shorthanded pts shots hits blocks
    Ekman Larrson @ Van
    Faulk @ Edm
    I also have a general follow up question for roto strategy. I have up to this point in my roto league been starting defensive players at a rate which will exceed the allowable starts for the year. I am projected to exceed my starts by 14. I have erik karlsson as well as the aforementioned faulk and OEL.
    I want to get every start I can out of Karlsson, benching him is not an option, that seems obvious, so curtailing my use of Faulk and OEL seems the way to go.
    Would you just let OEL and Faulk start for a while for fear of a potential injury which would leave me short starts and take everything I can get now? Or would you pick and choose spot starts for both of them until they have combined to miss 14 games, so I have them both playing the entire season? I tried the latter last week and benched a three assist night from OEL which is what has lead to this question.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Biggie Smalls: I would go with Faulk, I expect the Canucks Coyotes game to be tighter tonight with fewer goals. The Hurricanes should generate plenty of chances against the Oilers with Faulk leading the way from the back end.

      As far as the starts go, are you sure you’re actually 14 starts over? Sometimes the projection is very far off from past experience. Regardless, I generally like to get ahead in starts like you have instead of chasing them at the end, probably to the point where you are now. Are you only starting two defenseman? Assuming that’s the case, I would try to make a 2 for 1 trade where you trade OEL or Faulk plus a forward for an upgrade at forward. They are both too good to be rotting on your bench so you might as well try to move one. If you can’t make a trade, I would probably choose spot starts and live with it, as much as that sucks. Hope that helps, any other questions, don’t hesitate.

      • Biggie Smalls says:
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        You helped a fair bit, I have only ever played roto baseball, usually H2H hockey so this roto business is a new step.

        The league plays 3 D spots and a utility, its a 12 team league. Our league counts blocks so I had Shae Weber and Boychuck too, and rotated the 5 of those players through 4 spots. I moved weber in a deal which ended up with me getting tukka rask and now that boychuck is hurt (i dropped him) I figured it was time to get my overage starts under control.

        I am positive I am over 14 if Karlsson, OEL and Faulk play every one of their remaining games, I checked the math myself. I figure I keep hold of all three to be honest, the offensive advantage the three of them have generated for me from the D positions compared to other teams production is huge. I tried to trade OEL earlier in the year and most of my league mates have a bias against arizona and dont want him.

        I suppose my course of action will be to spot start faulk and OEL over the course of the season so they combine to miss about 14 games?

        Do you think Markstrom takes over in goal for vancouver? I think the future is now for that team.

        • Biggie Smalls says:
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          meant the future is now for markstrom, not for the canucks.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Biggie Smalls: Gotcha, okay, that makes more sense. That was a smart move doing the math yourself. I agree that it’s your best course of action in picking those spots. Sit out OEL when they play at the Kings, for example. I wouldn’t trade any of them either since you’ll be starting them for ~80-85% of their starts for the rest of the season.
          As far as Markstrom goes, he’s playing great and at the least he should split with Miller going forward. I expect him to get the majority of the starts because despite being close to the playoffs in the Pacific, the Canucks are a pretty poor team and don’t have much hope for this season. They might as well see what they have in Markstrom, in part because he could be the future and in part because he’s the main reason they’ve been winning games lately.

  3. Scott says:
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    Hi Viz!

    Which two do you like out of Jannik Hansen, Tanner Pearson, and Teddy Purcell?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott:Hey Scott! In a vacuum, I would rank them Hansen, Purcell and then Pearson. That said, it does depend on what categories you’re looking for because Hansen doesn’t contribute on the power play. If you’re short on STP, then you probably wouldn’t want Hansen. But all things being equal, I would put Pearson last because his minutes are the lowest and he bounces up and down the lineup.

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